I plan on about 1-1/2 ounces of cheese per guest.
When plating, separate out any very aromatic cheeses to a second plate so they don't overpower more delicate selections.
Cheeses should be removed from the refrigerator one hour prior to serving for the best textures and flavors.
If not slicing cheeses for display, provide a separate knife for each variety on the board.
For a busy gathering, small chalkboard tags (pictured above) are a great way to label your cheeses so guests will know their choices without your attention.
Have fun and be creative! Try themed boards to fit your gathering, such as French or Mediterranean.
*examples of widely available cheese varieties listed; to discover more, this Styles of Cheese guide from James Beard Award-winning author, Laura Werlin, is a fantastic resource.
**Quick tip! Want to "sugar frost" grapes? Brush clusters with pasteurized liquid egg whites (or just lightly dampen with water for a more rustic appearance), and sprinkle grapes with superfine sugar. Shake off excess and let dry at room temperature for 1-2 hours.